Ringworm also called Dermatophytosis is a fungal infection caused by fungi not a worm as its name suggests. The fungus likely thrives in wet or moist conditions such as wet garments, pool surfaces and wet skin. The fungus feeds on the outer surface of skin (keratin layer), hair and nail. Ringworm rarely shows any signs of symptoms therefore may be present in your body without your prior knowledge. The infection is most common among children but can affect all ages.
The fungus is passed on from one person to another by sharing contaminated objects. Most common way in which one get infected is by sharing of garments such as sportswear, unwashed pullovers and wet towels with contaminated persons. A wet towel of an infected person will most likely carry the fungi. Your skin contact with a contaminated towel paves way for the fungi to enter into your skin. Exchange of sportswear and unwashed pull overs with an infected person also transmits the fungi since these garments contain sweat.
Physical contact with pets with bold sports is another way you can get infected. The fungus thrives on the outside of hair shafts of pets. The most common pets that are carriers of the fungi are cats. The fungi lives within the pets, any physical contact of your skin with the bold spot of the pet is a guarantee of getting infected. Walking bare foot on moist surface can get you infected. A good example is walking bare foot along beaches, your foot may come into contact with small organisms carrying the fungi and you instantly get infected.
Itchy, rough sometimes round patches are signs and symptoms of the disease. If they appear on your head or beard they form bald patches. A time this patches form blisters that ooze out. Infected nails get discolored and crumble.
Probably the best way to prevent infection is to avoid physical contact with contaminated persons and objects. Avoid sharing clothing, personal care items or bath towels. Always wear sandals when walking on moist surface like pools gym or along the beach since this is are some of the areas where this fungus will thrive easily. Don’t have contact with a pest like your cat which you suspect to be contaminated with ringworm or which is not vaccinated. Always apply shampoo regularly after haircuts and ensure all personal care equipment’s are washed and dried regularly.
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